One of our favorite events of the year, the annual Chinese New Year Parade is coming to Union Square and Chinatown on March 7th. Here’s our guide to making the most of this spectacular event. Follow us on parade day for live tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram pics with #SFCNYParade #UnionSquareSF.
Get ready for Chinese lion dancers, acrobats, martial arts groups, stilt walkers and the star of the show – a 268 foot long Golden Dragon named Gum Lung, carried by 100 people and sporting rainbow-colored pom-poms, lights and even some rabbit fur. This parade is the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia, so you’re sure to be wowed.
Of course, we recommend you grab a spot along Post St. in Union Square if you can, but be sure to arrive early as these spaces fill up fast! We’ve decked out the park with red lanterns just for the occasion. Plus, the sidewalks across from the park in front of Tiffany & Co. and Williams Sonoma are pretty wide. The parade route turns up Powell St. then right on Sutter St. and up Kearny to Chinatown. There are tons of primo spots where you can catch all the action, so if you strike out in one place, you can always keep moving until you find the perfect place to watch. If you’re feeling fancy, you can purchase a bleacher spot on the Chinese New Year Parade website.
Where to Eat & Play
E&O Kitchen and Bar is celebrating Lunar New Year with fresh takes on traditional Chinese dishes paired with Year of the Goat-themed cocktails like Long Life noodles with braised lamb and the Billy the Kid cocktail with whiskey, fennel and brown sugar. Plus, catch Chinese lion dancers doing their thing and special red envelope deals after the parade at 8 pm.
Over at M.Y. China, you can choose from three unique Chinese New Year menus - the Wealth and Prosperity Menus feature items like roasted Peking duck and Firecracker Longevity noodles ($88 & $68 for two). Then, there's Grandma Wu's Chinese New Year Family Dinner, inspired by chef Tony Wu's own family, with 8 courses of traditional family goodness like Good Luck Soup and Happy Opportunity Fried Chicken ($38 pp). M.Y. China is also giving out red envelopes to guests and on Facebook with a grand prize of dinner for two, once a month for the entire year.
For a high-end experience in a sleek restaurant try the special Lunar New Year menu at Hakkasan San Francisco. Enjoy a dim sum platter, stir-fried lily bulb, abalone fried rice and other tasty dishes!
If you can’t make it, be sure to follow #SFCNYParade on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or you can catch the broadcast on KTVU.